Top 10 carbon-reducing tips when traveling for your next corporate meeting

Top 10 carbon-reducing tips when traveling for your next corporate meeting

For many organizations and industries, some degree of corporate travel is unavoidable. The global pandemic showed us that many of our meetings could be held online, but this won’t always be the case. Many organizations are aware of the environmental impact of business travel, which means finding greener ways to travel to and from corporate meetings.

Below, we’ll take a look at 10 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint when you’re traveling to your next corporate meeting.

1. Prioritize public transportation

If your meeting is taking place in a large city or town, you will most likely have plenty of public transport options. Instead of driving, look into taking a train or bus to reduce the environmental impact of your journey. You could even think outside the box – perhaps a boat is the most efficient way to travel!

2. Consider carpooling

Of course, your next corporate meeting may not have good public transport connections, meaning you will need to drive. If this is the case, look into carpooling with colleagues traveling from the same place. You can reduce the cost to the business with only one set of gas and parking expenses, and you can reduce the environmental impact by taking fewer vehicles.

3. Hire an electric or hybrid vehicle service

Opt for an electric or hybrid vehicle service if you need to rent a car for business travel. Also, choose the smallest, most efficient car possible for your needs – there is no need to select a giant 4×4 for a single person driving between cities when a smaller vehicle will suffice. Alternatively, if your organization has its own fleet of cars, consider upgrading them to electric or hybrid models (with plenty of guidance around available charging points).

4. Ask your senior team for recommendations

When PwC started requiring manager approval for business travel, it helped them challenge the assumption that flying was always the best way to travel, which reduced non-client-related air travel by 90%. Speak to people in the business who have previously traveled to your destination – perhaps they know a more efficient way to travel, or they can recommend an easy public transport route.

5. One rule for everyone

If you’re trying to roll out a more sustainable approach to travel, make sure the senior leaders in your organization are leading by example. If leaders take public transport and participate in ride-sharing, it will normalize it for the rest of the organization. If your entry-level employees are taking a six-hour bus while the C-suite takes a private jet, resentment will quickly build, so keep it fair for everyone.

6. Travel economy

Where possible, encourage employees to travel economy – especially for shorter flights. Business class seats are responsible for around twice the carbon emissions as economy seats on a flight, as they take up more space on the aircraft. Again, ensure this applies across the organization – don’t expect mid-level employees to sit in coach if your senior leaders enjoy the comfort of business class.

7. Make time for “slow travel.”

Employees don’t want to waste their precious personal time traveling to corporate meetings, so ensure that you, as an employer, are allocating sufficient time for them to choose more sustainable travel methods. For instance, allocating half a day before and after a meeting to allow them to take the train rather than fly will significantly reduce the emissions from their journey without eating into their own time.

8. Travel to the majority

If you have a team of three meeting a team of eight, consider getting the team of three to travel to the larger group. This will remove the travel time and emissions for five people each way, making it much more efficient and environmentally friendly. It’s also a good strategy for beating rising corporate travel costs.

9. Vet your venues

Traveling sustainably to a corporate meeting should also result in a sustainable meeting venue. Ensure that any meeting venue you choose wears its green credentials loud and proud, whether that’s a comprehensive recycling program, green energy, locally sourced catering, water-saving measures, or anything else they do to reduce the venue’s environmental impact.

10. Switch to hybrid or virtual meetings

The best way to drastically reduce your carbon footprint from corporate travel is to switch from in-person meetings to hybrid meetings or virtual meetings. You could consider rotating the location of in-person events to ensure nobody feels like they are missing out, so everyone gets the benefit of face-to-face time while also enjoying the convenience of meeting virtually. For instance, perhaps instead of flying a global team into a single location, you can ask those within the same geographical area to meet and those who are a large distance away to dial in. This reduces unnecessary air travel, ensuring your meetings are more sustainable.

Want to learn more about how you can reduce the carbon footprint of your corporate meetings?

Contact AMI today, and we’ll be happy to help!

The Latest in Green Meetings and Corporate Events

The Latest in Green Meetings and Corporate Events


Just as LEED and Passivhaus have strict standards for eco-friendly building practices and energy-efficient designs, resulting in forward-thinking structures that comprehensively do less harm to the environment, green meetings or events earn their prestigious distinction in the eyes of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) by considering environmental impact at every step of the event planning and management process.

Event hosts and corporate event planning companies that want to scratch a green itch can commit to whatever level of eco-friendliness they prefer, but in order to claim the title of “green event”, corporate event planning companies must painstakingly minimize waste and behave sustainably on every front.  What should you concentrate on if you’re looking for the latest in green meetings and corporate events?

Corporate Event Planning Companies Should Seek Out Eco-friendly Venues

The place to start if you’re on an eco-friendly crusade is by choosing venues, including event sites, hotels, and contributing vendors, that walk a green path.  Some implement energy-efficiency and water conservation practices, including the use of renewable energy resources.  Some have furniture, flooring, countertops, and more made from recycled or otherwise sustainable materials, or even buildings erected entirely with sustainable materials and practices.

Says Andy McNeill, CEO at AMI, “There’s a growing trend of sustainability within the hospitality industry.  You might not find LEED certified buildings that suit your needs for every event, but event management services should always ask about green practices and amenities.”

Sustainable Resources

Once you have your eco-friendly event venue locked in, it’s time to seek out needed vendors offering sustainable services.  You’ll almost certainly have to feed guests, which means finding catering services that offer organic and/or locally-sourced food.  If you’re providing transportation for guests, look for emission-free options like taxi or shuttle services that offer electric or hybrid vehicles.

Modern corporate event planning companies might already have associations with a slew of eco-conscious vendors, so event hosts should make sure to ask about green options for every service needed.  If not, they can surely find suitable options to minimize the environmental impact of the event.

Event Management Services Can Offer Reusable Handouts

Think about everything you provide attendees with during the course of a corporate meeting or event.  You might be surprised by how many items could benefit from a sustainable makeover.  Why hand out badges and lanyards that will end up in the trash post-event?  Instead, opt for reusable name badges that you can collect and use for your next event.

Forget about disposable water bottles.  If you’re going to provide bottles anyway, why not add branded, reusable water bottles to every welcome basket?  The green motto “reduce, reuse, recycle” should be of paramount importance to your event management services firm, and it can apply to nearly every detail of event planning.

Paper-Free Events

In this digital era, there’s hardly a need to send out paper invitations, print up information packets, or utilize paper for any part of the event.  Everything can be moved into virtual space, including registration and check-in, itineraries and event maps, and follow-up surveys.  A creative event management services team like the professionals at American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) can offer the tools and techniques needed to ensure an eco-friendly event on every level, including the necessary sharing of information between event hosts and attendees.

American Meetings is an official partner of the 2019 SPLC Summit

American Meetings is an official partner of the 2019 SPLC Summit

American Meetings is pleased to be an official Partner of the SPLC Summit. At the Summit, you’ll learn actionable and innovative sustainable procurement strategies that you can apply at your own organization, all while building relationships with 500 procurement and sustainability professionals, suppliers, and NGO experts. Held May 20-22 in Portland, Oregon, the Summit features over 50 educational sessions, exhibits, matchmaking, tours, and ample networking with fellow change-makers in a fun setting. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your organization’s sustainable purchasing to the next level!

Save 10% with our special partner discount code P10AMI 

AMI’s Sustainability Strategy

Whether you’re hosting meetings and events in your own backyard or you’ve chosen a global destination, the last thing you want to do is create excessive pollution and waste in the course of planning and executing your gathering.  Not only is this detrimental to your host city, but it could offend attendees and perhaps tarnish your image in the process.

This is why so many event hosts and their event management teams are working to find ways to make events, both large and small, more sustainable.  The good news is, there are several avenues to explore, and some could even save money and add convenience for guests.  Here are just a few strategies you and your event company can employ to add sustainability to your upcoming events. Read more…

15 Tips to Green Your Meetings and Events from AMI

15 Tips to Green Your Meetings and Events from AMI

Before you finalize planning for your next meeting or event, consider developing a green plan of action. There are a range of eco-friendly steps you can take to improve your event without compromising effectiveness or your budget.

Green Your Hotel                    

  • Is your hotel green friendly? Ask them to detail their Green Policies in your RFP. Also, ask the hotel to provide green options and alternatives prior to your final approval of the hotel contract.
  • Select hotels that offer guests the option to reuse towels or linens during their stay.
  • Ask hotel to provide cards that individuals can leave in the bathroom stating they don’t want to have their toiletries replaced.

Green Your Food & Beverage

  • Serve “Box Lunches” buffet style.
  • Provide attendees with branded event mugs or water bottles.
  • Where possible, donate surplus food to local shelters.

Green Your Travel

  • Choose a destination with minimal travel requirements for delegates.
  • Purchase electronic tickets for airline travel whenever possible.
  • If transportation is being arranged for delegates, choose a vehicle that is eco-friendly.

Green Your Promotional/Printed Materials

  • Make sure all printed items are printed on at least 30% recycled paper per the EPA standards of recycled content.
  • Use electronic advertising, promotion and registration whenever possible.
  • Only mail confirmation of registration and any significant changes to the event program. All other communication should be sent electronically.

  Green Your Venue

  • Encourage speakers to provide electronic copies of handouts of any visual presentations and post them on your website.
  • Ensure that you can recycle any materials that are generated at the event.
  • Make sure the convention center has recycling containers.

5 Simple Ways To “Green” Your Next Meeting Or Event

Before you begin planning for your next meeting or event, consider developing a green plan of action to make your meeting more sustainable. There are a range of eco-friendly steps you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your event without compromising the effectiveness or your budget. Here are a few simple ways to “Green” your next meeting or event.

Green Meetings: 14 Questions to ask your hotel

Green Meetings: 14 Questions to ask your hotel

The Environmental Protection Agency requires meeting venues to complete a questionnaire about environmentally preferable features and practices in use at their facilities. All Federal agencies are encouraged to use the EPA’s model when soliciting meeting and conference facilities. Start greening your meetings by adding these questions to your RFP.

  1. Do you have a recycling program? If so, please describe.
  2. Do you have a linen/towel reuse option that is communicated to guests?
  3. Do guests have easy access to public transportation or shuttle services at your facility?
  4. Are lights and air conditioning turned off when rooms are not in use? If so, how do you ensure this?
  5. Do you provide bulk dispensers or reusable containers for beverages, food, and condiments?
  6. Do you provide reusable serving utensils, napkins, and tablecloths when food and beverages are served?
  7. Do you have an energy-efficiency program? Please describe.
  8. Do you have a water-conservation program? Please describe.
  9. Does your facility provide guests with paperless check-in and checkout?
  10. Does your facility use recycled or recyclable products? Please describe.
  11. Do you source food from local growers or take into account the growing practices of farmers that provide the food? Please describe.
  12. Do you use bio-based or biodegradable products, including bio-based “cafeteriaware”? Please describe.
  13. Do you provide training to your employees on these green initiatives? Please describe.
  14. What other environmental initiatives have you undertaken, including any environment-related certifications you possess, EPA voluntary partnerships in which you participate, support of a green suppliers network, or other initiatives?